It has alternated between pouring rain and damp wet coolness. Campfires feel good here.
Robbie learned to build and make fires several months ago through the homeschool program, “Ancestral Knowledge”. He has been able to practice his skills intermittently this summer, and now as we enter into fall, I deeply appreciate his knowledge and advise.
“Mom, you must give the wood space to breathe. So when you build the fire, let the small pieces catch and burn first.”
Last night our tinder was soaked. (note to self: keep packets of dry tinder and a few pieces of dry wood in the car) I had packed a bundle of paraffin soaked twine which helped with getting the fire started. Our flint and steel was out of commission.
In any event, we worked with what we had. There was a lull in the downpour, leaving us with a mist over everything. My biolite worked great, even with wet twigs. The paraffin twine was helpful.
But we wanted the warmth and light of a fire. Our neighbors from Denmark went in search of the campground truck that was delivering dry wood, he and his daughter were kind enough to buy some for us.
I had dry paper in the car that I had gathered over the last 2 days. We separate for recycling in our little car, our trash has been cut by ⅔ because of the recycling they have in the parks and by burning the paper products and cardboard. We lit the paper for tinder, used a few of the dry little sticks the firewood people handed out, put a few logs on and before we knew it, we were eating a warm meal while sitting by the fire.
This morning was a little different. The paper and logs were damp. But Robbie was all about getting that fire going.
“Mom, I am cold.”
“Do you want a jacket? I left one for you in the tent.”
He put one on and said, “I just want to be cozy by the fire. It’s not working so well though.”
He decided to blow and blow. It got the fire going but he also got exhausted.
I handed him his junior ranger booklet. “Use this for a fan.” I demonstrated. (And no, we did not burn the ranger booklet.)
Before we knew it, another lovely warm fire.
He got out his Legos and made a village by the fire.
Warmed by fire and a good warm breakfast, we will hike today from our campground to the Grove of the Patriarchs, an old growth forest with trees that reach 300 feet tall and are 1000 years old.